Kalou, Gradel inspire Elephants

Kalou, Gradel inspire Elephants
Ivory Coast star Max Gradel

by Neil Greig

Friday Nov 14, 2014. 19:05

Two goals from Salomon Kalou and one from Max Gradel, who also made a goal, inspired Ivory Coast to a 5-1 win against Sierra Leone in their 2015 Afcon Qualifier in Abidjan.

Besides Kalou's double and Gradel's strike, Kolo Toure and Gervinho also got in on the act in a match that was locked at 1-1 by the half time break.

The win puts the Elephants on 9 points, just one behind group leaders Cameroon who face DR Congo (on 6 points) tomorrow.

It took just seven minutes for the Ivorians to score when veteran defender Kolo Toure netted off a cross from Max Gradel from the right and ten minutes later the Ivorians hit the woodwork when Lacina Traore headed the impressive Gradel’s cross onto the bar.

But despite Ivory Coast’s domination, Sierra Leone got the equaliser in the 25th minute through Mustapha Bangoura following a one-two with Alhassan Kamara.

Ivory Coast restored their lead, however, early in the second half when Salomon Kalou put his side ahead off another cross by Max Gradel, who then turned scorer in the 52nd minute as he netted from a cross by Siaka Tiene.

The Elephants stormed further into the lead on 60 minutes when Gervinho got the Ivorians’ fourth goal of the day thanks to an assist by big forward Lacina Traore.

And Kalou, standing in for the suspended Wilfried Bony, had the final say in the 73rd minute to take his overall tally to four goals in these Afcon qualifiers and rounding off an emphatic 5-1 victory.

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